Gaetz introduces 'PENCIL' resolution to oust Schiff from House Intel

Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzHillicon Valley: Twitter says Trump 'go back' tweet didn't violate rules | Unions back protests targeting Amazon 'Prime Day' | Mnuchin voices 'serious concerns' about Facebook crypto project | Congress mobilizes on cyber threats to electric grid House and Senate head for showdown on must-pass defense bill Social media summit highlights partisan approaches on tech MORE (R-Fla.), one of President TrumpDonald John TrumpEsper sidesteps question on whether he aligns more with Mattis or Trump Warren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' As tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA MORE’s closest allies on Capitol Hill, on Wednesday introduced a bill to remove Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffThe peculiar priorities of Adam Schiff Trump knocks Mueller after deal struck for him to testify Mueller to give extended testimony after appearance postponed MORE (D-Calif.) as the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. 

The Florida Republican introduced the Preventing Extreme Negligence with Classified Information Licenses Act, or PENCIL Act, a nod to Trump’s insults calling the California lawmaker “little pencil neck Adam Schiff.”

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Schiff has been one of the president’s most vociferous detractors and has spearheaded House Democrats’ efforts to investigate any possible ties the president may have with Russia.

The proposal claims that Schiff “can no longer be trusted by his colleagues in Congress or the American people” and that he “has repeatedly slandered President Donald J. Trump by falsely claiming he colluded with Russia to win the presidency.” It also calls for Schiff to have his security clearance withdrawn. 

 

Due to his perch on the Intelligence Committee, Schiff is also part of the Gang of Eight, a group of senior lawmakers with access to top-secret intelligence information.

Republicans have hit Schiff with an avalanche of criticism since Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet House poised to hold Barr, Ross in contempt Harris campaign accepts money from partners of law firm she criticized over Epstein case MORE released a four-page summary of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE's investigation into Russian election interference in 2016.

Barr said Mueller's core findings did not find sufficient evidence to charge anyone associated with Trump’s campaign with conspiring with Russia.

A number of Intelligence Committee members called for Schiff to step down or resign from Congress following the summary report.

“It is the sense of the House of Representatives that Congressman Adam Schiff should be removed from the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House and that his security clearance should be revoked immediately,” the resolution said. 

Schiff has so far dismissed the GOP attacks, saying that Trump’s conduct in office and during the campaign was unacceptable even if it was not criminal. 

“I think it’s immoral. I think it’s unethical. I think it’s unpatriotic. And yes, I think it’s corrupt,” Schiff said at a committee hearing last month.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse Democrat pushes for censuring Trump in closed-door meeting Trump: I don't have a racist bone in my body Ocasio-Cortez responds to fresh criticism from Trump MORE (D-Calif.) backed Schiff.

“I’m so proud of the work of Chairman Adam Schiff, in stark contrast to the irresponsible, almost criminal behavior of the previous chair of the committee,” Pelosi said in Schiff’s defense during a press conference last month, referring to the past chairmanship of Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesDemocrats' opposition research got exposed — this time, not by the Russians GOP consultant sued by Nunes asks for help paying legal costs Hillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers' use of location data MORE (R-Calif.), another staunch Trump ally.